Purpose

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Before you read any further, do yourself a favor and check out THIS article by Adam Bornstein on What Type of Workout is Best?  Go a head I’ll wait.  I have to make my breakfast anyways, so I have a few minutes to spare.

Besides, if you don’t read it, the rest of this post won’t make any sense and then you’re going to feel left out and get all out of sorts when everyone else is laughing at you because you don’t get any of the inside jokes.

I mean, can you believe there were BUNNIES ON THE CEILING!?!??!?!!?!

AHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

See what I mean?  Now you’re looking at me like I’m an asshat because you have no idea what I’m referring to.

Seriously, just click on the link and read.

[Cue Jeopardy theme music]

Done?  Cool.

NOTE:  as you noticed, there actually is no reference to bunnies on a ceiling in the article, but if there were, and it was as hilarious as I made it out to be, who would have been the asshat then?  Hmmmmm??????

All kidding aside, pretty inspirational stuff by Adam, right?  I’ve long been of the same mindset that the only workout (or training program) that’s going to be successful is the one that you’re actually going to follow.  It could be anything from following a Westside type template to some sort of bodybuilding type split to, I don’t know, some sort of crazy protocol that has you performing 400 squats paired with slamming your balls inside an oven door.

Whatever works and gets you to the gym………..who am I to judge?

Getting inside the doors, for many, is the real key. But once there…….then what?

There’s one other component that I feel rarely ever gets addressed.  As much as people discuss the optimal set/rep schemes, proper rest intervals, ideal programming structure, frequency, tempo of the lifts, so on and so forth………..

…….None of it means jack if you don’t train with purpose.

If you half ass your workouts, you’re going to get half ass results.

Nothing – outside of those who drive under the speed limit.  And Ryan Seacreast – irritates me more than when I walk into a commercial gym and watch people train with no purpose.

They just kind of flounder around with no rhyme or reason, haphazardly doing a few arm curls here, a few whateverthehellthosearecalled there, and pitter-putter along. They’re just there. That’s it.  As if just showing up is all that matters.

Most often, these are the same people who bitch and whine that they never get any results despite going to the gym “x” number of times per week.

Want to know what purpose looks like?  Watch this video taken yesterday of Franklin Pierce RHP, Ryan Thompson, performing some of his med ball work:

THAT’S purpose.

And to think:  this is part of his PRE-WORK, before he even starts the meat and potatoes of his training session.

Every throw looks as if Ryan’s main objective is to knock down the wall. Every throw has meaning.  You can tell there’s intent, and he’s not just going through the motions.

So, the question then becomes:  if you are one of those people who goes to the gym religiously 3-5 times per week, and yet, never seems to get the results you want, are you really working as hard as you could?

Now, this isn’t to say that you have to approach each training session as if you were going to stab someone in the throat.  But by that token, it probably wouldn’t hurt to amp up the intensity a little bit and take things a little more seriously.

  • Increase the speed of the treadmill a couple of notches the next time you’re at the gym.
  • Better yet, get off the treadmill, walk over to the squat rack and use it.  Not to do arm curls.
  • Add a few extra lbs on the bar or dumbbell.  Whatever it is that you’re lifting.
  • Spend a little less time talking about last night’s episode of Dancing With the Stars, and a little more time focusing on the fact that you’ve been in the gym for 45 minutes and have yet to elevate your heart rate past comatose.
  • Try a new exercise you’ve never tried before.  Deadlifts?
  • Shut up and train.  Intimidate the weight.
  • Have fun, sure.  Don’t take yourself too seriously, but you know, train with some purpose.

Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

  • Barath

    It seems to me that your piece here (which I completely agree with) is different in purpose to Bornstein’s (which is rather meh). It depends on how you view fun. I certainly don’t think deadlifting is fun (by the way, just back from some DLs and kroc rows), but I LOVE them to death. I am not ashamed to admit sometimes when I step in to lift, the weight scares me a bit. I am nervous. None of this is “fun”. I still do it because this is the way I want to lead my life. Playing pick-up softball is fun, training ain’t fun. In my humble view, if you’re having fun while “working out”, you aren’t doing much.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jassaj Jon Stewart

      Good point, and I’m sure your reference to deadlifting [or just training in general] is very dependent on the individual. I find deadlifts “fun” and I doubt it’s a coincidence that it’s also my best lift. That said, whether you view that hour training session as fun or not, it’s the effort and applying that effort over the long-term that’s going to make the difference. It’s not merely enough to have fun if you’re like most these day’s and just about any trivial excuse will keep you out of the gym.

  • http://www.michaelgrayfitness.com/ Michael Gray

    I am literally slow clapping at my computer right now.

  • Keith

    AMEN!  I soooo wish I was cool enough to have wrote this.  Thank you!

  • http://unblob.blogspot.com/ Cort the Sport

    Those without purpose are ALWAYS the ones that try (and sometimes succeed) to interrupt my workouts with chitchat. Those of us with purpose know better than to interrupt others with more than a brief hello or nod, or purposeful conversation.

    I suspect % time spent talking in the gym correlates to bodyfat %!!

  • http://jeremysmith89.wordpress.com/ Jeremy Smith

    That was some impressive med ball tossin’.

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